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Greetings, all --

 

I'm 46 years old and today, I'm 4-months post stroke. It's been quite a ride.

 

On the morning of June 3rd, I rolled into the ER with a CVA primarily impacting my basal ganglia. I was truly fortunate to not experience the cognitive and language issues many have had. I ended up with left-side hemiparesis. After a few days in acute neuro, I spent the rest of June in in-patient rehab, went home on July 1, and then had in home OT and PT for about 6 weeks. Now I go back to the hospital for outpatient care a couple times a week for outpatient therapy.

 

Today, I walk (slowly) with a cane and a shiny, new AFO. My leg is coming along. My arm is getting stronger down to the elbow. The hand is still useless, but I'm confident it will come back.

 

In was already unemployed at the time of my stroke, and took the summer off from my job search to recover, and now I'm reentering professional life. I've relaunched my podcast on public speaking and I'm back to looking for work.

 

I'm looking forward o learning and sharing more in this community.

 

Thanks,

Bill

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Welcome!  You've come to the right place for info, help, ask questions, or just vent!

This site has been a god-send for me, hope it is for you, too.

 

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That is fantastic about your podcast.. may I ask what it is about.. I love listening to podcasts 

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Hi, Bill. Welcome to Strokenet! You have made a quick recovery, but don't be alarmed if  you start to slow down- that's normal for stroke  recovery. Good luck on the job search!   Becky

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Thanks for the warm welcome. This certainly seems like a supportive board.

 

My podcast is called 2-Minutes Talk Tips, and it's about becoming a more effective public speaker. Each week the first 2 minutes include a simple actionable tip, followed by an extended discussion about other aspects of public speaking and presenting. I occasionally talk about my stroke, but it's not the focus of the discussion. I may start a stroke related or OT related one on the future.  The podcast is available in most podcast directories and at 2minutetalktips.com

 

While trying to open a yogurt container while in the hospital, I thought of starting a YouTube series called "Stroke Victims Open Packages," but I'm not sure others would find that amusing in the same way I did.

 

Have a great day.

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On 10/22/2017 at 5:09 PM, Cromely said:

While trying to open a yogurt container while in the hospital, I thought of starting a YouTube series called "Stroke Victims Open Packages," but I'm not sure others would find that amusing in the same way I did.

It is funny, but mostly in a if you don't laugh you'll cry sort of way, particularly when the contents of the container end up on the floor or all over the bench. I'm not sure I want people laughing at me then. :tantrum:

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Bill :

 

welcome to best online stroke support group, I am sorry you had need to find us, but once you found us you will never feel alone in your journey. I stroked at age 34 which retired me from the job I loved & I never thought I would find joy in living again. but I did. I found blogging & chatting with other survivors very therapeutic for my soul. we do have chats every day in the afternoon from 3-4 EST M-F & evening 8-9PM EST on M,W & F

 

hope to bump into there.

 

Asha(now 46 year old survivor)

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On ‎2017‎-‎10‎-‎22 at 11:37 PM, heathber said:

It is funny, but mostly in a if you don't laugh you'll cry sort of way, particularly when the contents of the container end up on the floor or all over the bench. I'm not sure I want people laughing at me then. :tantrum:

That was pretty much all my laughing in month one. Deemed the best way for me to deal with it.

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Bill, I think we all go through that stage, the laughter does get easier and more normal as you get further from that first month.  Retaining a sense of humour through this thing is vital.

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Hi Bill -

 

I'm new here myself.  Your story sounds pretty similar to mine but I was about a year before you in both age and when I had my stroke, and I can tell you that its a long journey and at least for me I continued to get better and more ambulatory over the course of 18 months.  Stay strong and keep on at it. 

 

Aaron

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On 10/23/2017 at 2:37 AM, heathber said:

It is funny, but mostly in a if you don't laugh you'll cry sort of way, particularly when the contents of the container end up on the floor or all over the bench. I'm not sure I want people laughing at me then. :tantrum:

This brings back a memory from inpatient rehab. In my room, I proudly opened a container of yogurt with my one working hand, only to then watch it land yogurt side down on the floor. Nobody was around to laugh, but I did need to call for help with the clean-up. 

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Hey everyone, thank you for allowing me to participate, glad to be here (frankly, based on the last 7 days, I'm glad to be anywhere!!!), Kelli, thank you for hooking me up!, the Readers Digest version:

 

Last Wednesday (February 7, 2018) I'm off to a morning seminar with my banker, slept horridly the night before, very excited about this seminar (new tax codes....no I'm not an accountant...I just love learning new stuff), I get to the event early....I'm always early....someone welcomes me as I enter the building.....I'm soooo tired, I don't even want coffee, just to have this event over so I can sleep, the greeter asks me how far I've traveled for this meeting (I'm In Seattle), I attempt to make a joke about coming from Marzatania, NOTHING remotely legible is coming out of my mouth so, not ONLY did I screw up what I hope would have been a reasonably funny punch line....but everything that's making it to my ear sounds like I've been drinking non stop since well, at least Boxing Day....I passed it off to being ridiculously tired, and, occasionally I stutter when I speak too fast so.....let's just get this over and go home.

 

90 minutes in, I'm leaning on the table (I could literally at this point fall asleep simply by being told to do so), and suddenly, on the dais they show a projection of the section I came for....VOILA!!!! MY excuse to leave JUST came up!!! I lean towards my banker who invited me to this event and said "John, I slept horribly last night, I simply must go home and get some sleep"....he said he understood and that was that....off to my car....now, if you (all you knowledgeable stroke folks) think I haven't yet hit at least a dozen "AHA!!!!" moments that ANYONE should have recognized as obvious signs.....more stupidity shall prevail....just wait:

 

I was a smoker (up until last Wednesday February 7, 2018, that is)....and on the way in to this event, I'm smoking and drinking my coffee, my head feels a bit tight maybe like a strange kind of head ache....but not, but kinda, but not.....ya know?  So....I leave the event....."ahhhhhhhhh....I'm going to finally get some sleep now.....what I really need now is a smoke! Yes....that is what I need".......But that wasn't true.....turns out, what I really needed was at least 7 smokes (hell....it was a 30 minute drive! easily enough time for 7 if you do it right).

 

Of course, I was not a beginner.....I knew how to get 7 cigarettes down in 30 minutes.

 

So I'm on my way home, I decide I'll call my secretary (Michelle) and let her know I'll be in tomorrow (I should say here that I quit drinking nearly 3 months ago....not one drop and everyone at the office knew I was serious about it) I call her and explain things to her and I ask her to get something for me (Amazon Fire Stick thingie so I can get more movies) and one thing that will help this story make a lot more sense is, she never says no to me, it's not in her nature and I never say no to a client, it's just the way we are at my company, and she said to me "Jon, let' talk about it tomorrow when you've had some sleep"...I said "Okay", but I was shocked....that was as close as she's ever come to telling me "no" in 15 years...her usual response is "I should have that for you by Friday".  Too tired to argue about it, I said "Okay" and went home to sleep.....and sleep I did.

 

The next morning, still a bit tired, but feeling significantly better, I head to the office, my team came in, I addressed everyone, discussed the battle plan for the day (I own a few company's, but the main one is a construction company), and off they went to do their things, then later in the morning I had two tenants coming over for a planned meeting with a vendor to discuss some work in their space, and his purpose was to educate them on what they were going to do, why and for how much.

 

The Vendor did a terrible job defending his work and I dismissed the meeting letting him know he'd just wasted two very important tenants time and mine and to come back next week to do it again, but this time "come prepared".

 

So, frustrated, I go in to Michelle's office to vent, and she says "why are you stuttering?" I said "I'm frustrated, a bit tired", she said she understood (based on what I was able to get out to her), I said "I'm just *beep* off and talking too fast".....which, as she explained to me later came out something like: "i.shhihkw1gdytzbhouuwywuiw hdouiwduhxy5etwizui" (which as you can see sounds remarkably, not even remotely at all like: "I'm just *beep* off and talking too fast"), she suddenly got serious and said "this is what you sounded like on the phone yesterday when you were going home and I KNOW you weren't drinking" (Gotta love her :) ) "YOU need to go to the hospital right now!!!!" I said "I'm fine.....I'm just tired and talking too fast".

 

(Which as you may have deduced by now sounded not even a bit like "I'm fine.....I'm just tired and talking too fast").

 

Right then, it struck me clear as day....."I'm having a freaking stroke"......and nooooooo the stupidity doesn't end yet.....remember the part about my secretary never saying no to me? well......that kind of extends in to "My boss is actually Clark Kent....and if he says he can do something......he can" (Which, is actually true.....not the Clark Kent thing but the I can do anything I put my mind to) so I tell her (now fully engaged) "Call the ER, tell them I'll be there in 20 minutes, I'm leaving right now"....she said OK, no debate...."Jon said it, it must be true"....I didn't even turn my heels and she was dialing the hospital. She did her part, now I had to do mine: Drive.   Fully cognizant, I drove very carefully to ER, walk in, there are 3 other folks inside there filling out forms (ostensibly to see someone about their own malady of sorts),  someone in a nurse outfit says "Are you Mr.........?" I said "Yes I am", they open the double doors, say "come right this way" we're walking (fairly fast as I recall) she's looking back at me and says "that's quite a nice walk you have" I think to myself "what an odd thing to say to me" but I respond abruptly with"Thank you, it's taken me 59 years to get it just right", she laughs and I think...."all right, I can still get a joke out when the chips are down....things can't be all that bad", and suddenly I'm surrounded by people who have clearly confused me with the President having just gotten off of Air Force One....off goes my shirt, up comes someone with a clipboard with 39 questions someone's asking me if I have a "living Will?"

 

WTF???????

 

So there ya have it....my story, they said it was a full on stroke....not a TIA, the cameras apparently don't lie, how big or significant they didn't know, couldn't say (or wouldn't say....who knows), from entering the building until I could get to "can I go home now?" was about 9 hours, they did finally say  "You can, but we recommend you stay here overnight for observation".....and still reeling a bit from the "do you have a living Will?" question, I figured, the cat will be fine, and I think it's very likely I just got a hand written letter from God....and this might just be a remarkably good time for me to shut up and start listening to the contents.

 

So.....that is what I did, and what I am now doing.  I haven't had a smoke since Wednesday, and as Ross Perot so famously said...."I'm all ears".

 

(Epilogue: 6+ days later, I'm still a bit fuzzy, I'm able to type at about 97%, all motor skills are fine, my face muscles didn't drop, was able to recite successfully every two hours everything they put in front of me as well as identify every picture, event, purpose, concept, date, president in history, weather, etc. they placed in front of me, and I learned among many things, that the people that buy the mattresses for the ICU have never actually visited an actual mattress store, and....this weekend I found this site and read so many of your posts....thank you ALL for writing them, they were incredibly helpful and comforting to me!!!! I was incredibly frightened and so many of you made me feel like....there is life after this).

 

I can't wait to learn about this!!!!

Edited by JonJ
(edited for spelling/grammar errors)

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What a remarkable account of your stroke, it made me realise just how incredibly different they all are. You are not saying much about what it left you with, do you have any loss of strength or dexterity? and how is your talking and walking now?

Deigh

ps  suggest you reply in another part of the forum, this one is just for introductions........and I forgot to say welcome!!

D

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Hi JonJ, that's one hell of a start on this journey. It sounds like you are doing really well and have retained your sense of humour. It's early days yet please listen to your body and sleep when/if you need to. early on in recovery your brain will tire easily and it can be hard to tell the difference between tired brain and tired body. 

 

Come chat with us whenever you feel the need either to ask a question or just to rant and rave about your frustrations, most of us have been there and it's no fun but it does get better over time.

-Heather

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1 hour ago, Deigh said:

What a remarkable account of your stroke, it made me realise just how incredibly different they all are. You are not saying much about what it left you with, do you have any loss of strength or dexterity? and how is your talking and walking now?

Deigh

ps  suggest you reply in another part of the forum, this one is just for introductions........and I forgot to say welcome!!

D

Thank you for asking.  I, of course had nothing to compare it to, but when I got home I found you all, and read nearly every post, and saw how this thing can run all extremes....I got VERY lucky. The evidence to me that this wasn't a TIA (other than the dr's saying as much) was that, in answer to your question, I was very tired having slept nearly 19 hours and that I felt fuzzy all the way through Sunday night.  Still do, but astoundingly I feel great every morning and have since Monday morning (two days only so far). the hospital staff made clear to me I may have significant memory loss, but didn't say when, I'm just not clear on the specifics of the impact / event as to when I'm supposed to feel anything other than what I have so far.  If all I'm going to experience is what I have thus far, My guess is, I have some impacts I'm not currently aware of I'm sure, but if this is as bad as it gets "Thank you Jesus" and I'm a changed man....no more smoking, better food and exercise is all the new rule. MY strength seems to be fine, dexterity: I correct about every 20th word typing (I send a lot of emails confirming things) whereas prior to the event, it was probably closer to every 100th word.  I know the word(s), but my fingers seems to have forgotten them.  Walking is fine....I'm still stumbling a bit when I talk too fast, but that's either what I now have or, I'm not quite healed yet....doesn't appear to be another event.  I"ll go to other places inside SN now :) (although already edited and corrected here, I always had solid clarity about too to and two, there their and they're, etc., that seems to be proving to be one of the first impacts I can see).

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1 hour ago, heathber said:

Hi JonJ, that's one hell of a start on this journey. It sounds like you are doing really well and have retained your sense of humour. It's early days yet please listen to your body and sleep when/if you need to. early on in recovery your brain will tire easily and it can be hard to tell the difference between tired brain and tired body. 

 

Come chat with us whenever you feel the need either to ask a question or just to rant and rave about your frustrations, most of us have been there and it's no fun but it does get better over time.

-Heather

LOL....kinda sounds a bit more breathtaking when you condense over 60 hours in to a few smaller paragraphs :)

 

Good advice Heather (and I'm taking EVERYONE's advice right now...if you've "been there"....you're my new mentor!) One thing I find intensely interesting is....I have never (even as a child) slept well.....now, I get home, read something....I'm ready for bed and within 2 hours (short time for me!) I'm asleep.  I went and bought a GIANT jug of really good quality Omega3 pills today (fish makes me ill), I watched a bazillion videos this weekend, scribbled every note I could conjure....and that one (tired brain) came up often.....I don't even know the right questions to ask......I'd sure be grateful if anyone just wants to tell me anything.

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JonJ,   I think you are trying too hard! Just try to do your normal things and if you can't do them, then make a note. Later on you can assemble them and see where your new faults are. Then you can look at working on them.

I'm a person who doesn't relax so I can't tell you to do it! but I think you should try! 

Rest is more important than anything else in your recovery plan.

Deigh

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19 minutes ago, Deigh said:

JonJ,   I think you are trying too hard! Just try to do your normal things and if you can't do them, then make a note. Later on you can assemble them and see where your new faults are. Then you can look at working on them.

I'm a person who doesn't relax so I can't tell you to do it! but I think you should try! 

Rest is more important than anything else in your recovery plan.

Deigh

Thank you :) Advice taken :)

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Jon, Sometimes, after a stroke you don't realize that something has been affected until you try to do something, and find, to your surprise...you can't do it. I'm thinking in particular about driving-may not be a good thing to do right now.At least until you know the full impact of your stroke. Do you have a regular doctor? If you do, now might be a good time to see him or her. You need a doc for any prescription meds or therapy you may need, and just for medical follow-up on known stroke factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. You may also benefit from seeing a neurologist who can read your MRI for you, and tell you things like what kind of stroke you had, and where; what may have caused your stroke, etc.

 The stroke-fatigue willl be with you for awhile. Ignoring it for a long period of time isn't an option. Work may not be possible for a few weeks  Listen to it as soon as you can, because it's your brain, talking to you, and telling you it's tired. Your brain is trying to

heal the damage done by the stroke, and it does this best while your conscious mind is sleeping.

  You are so new to stroke.... I'm sorry if I sound negative, but there really aren't any positives, unless one of your dreams has been to become a "couch potato" because you have just been given the best reason in the world to become one for awhile.  Just hibernate for awhile, and sleep whenever you feel the need. Take good care.   Becky  

  

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15 hours ago, JonJ said:

 

I may sound a bit cheeky.... but I know this is a serious event but the way you described it was amusing ... sorry 

15 hours ago, JonJ said:

Kelli, thank you for hooking me up!, 

 

 

I got ya

 

It is amazing when we look back on all the 'A-Ha' moments that should have tipped us off but it is what it is. I'm so very glad Michele was astute to the signs of stroke. 

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6 hours ago, ksmith said:

I may sound a bit cheeky.... but I know this is a serious event but the way you described it was amusing ... sorry 

I got ya

 

It is amazing when we look back on all the 'A-Ha' moments that should have tipped us off but it is what it is. I'm so very glad Michele was astute to the signs of stroke. 

MOOOOM!!!!! Kelli's laughing at me!!!!!!!!

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7 hours ago, becky1 said:

Jon, Sometimes, after a stroke you don't realize that something has been affected until you try to do something, and find, to your surprise...you can't do it. I'm thinking in particular about driving-may not be a good thing to do right now.At least until you know the full impact of your stroke. Do you have a regular doctor? If you do, now might be a good time to see him or her. You need a doc for any prescription meds or therapy you may need, and just for medical follow-up on known stroke factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. You may also benefit from seeing a neurologist who can read your MRI for you, and tell you things like what kind of stroke you had, and where; what may have caused your stroke, etc.

 The stroke-fatigue willl be with you for awhile. Ignoring it for a long period of time isn't an option. Work may not be possible for a few weeks  Listen to it as soon as you can, because it's your brain, talking to you, and telling you it's tired. Your brain is trying to

heal the damage done by the stroke, and it does this best while your conscious mind is sleeping.

  You are so new to stroke.... I'm sorry if I sound negative, but there really aren't any positives, unless one of your dreams has been to become a "couch potato" because you have just been given the best reason in the world to become one for awhile.  Just hibernate for awhile, and sleep whenever you feel the need. Take good care.   Becky  

  

:) Excellent advice :) I'm not sure when my follow up Dr's appointment is, but I expect it will be in a week or less.  I'll report in with what I find out then. 

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36 minutes ago, JonJ said:

MOOOOM!!!!! Kelli's laughing at me!!!!!!!!

She does that! and we love her for it. This thing changes so much and mostly for the worse so being able to laugh at it is part of the survival adjustment.  I'm so glad to see someone new to this getting that.

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Excellent start! Yes! Please keep us posted on how you're doing.   Becky

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